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February 2014
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Making Things

“I’m happier when I make things.” Howard said as he walked into the kitchen late in the day. I looked up at him and saw that the grouchiness he’d felt earlier had cleared from his face. It took an hour and 1200 words of a short story, but his day got better.

I know exactly the way that Howard feels. I meant to spend today cleaning house. Instead I worked at making things too. I made thirty five packages which went out to customers. Then I made LOTA closer to being complete by putting in the footnotes that Howard created and by creating the footnote boxes. I too wrote 1200 words of fiction. I have a long list of things which I’d hoped to accomplish today, but I’m glad I chose to make things instead.

Only yesterday I was out to lunch with my friend and asking “Does it ever get easier than this?” I had a week where feelings of being overwhelmed alternated with the hope that we were finally getting life under control. I guess I’d had one oscillation too many, or maybe I was just feeling entitled to whine. In the past year I’ve dealt with lots of parenting things which were outside the norm. Except when I think about it, I wonder if it is more normal than not. Most people don’t know all the details of what has gone on, just as I don’t know all the details for other families. This leads to the illusion that struggle is not normal, when growing up is an inherently struggle-full process.

My friend didn’t answer my question, because she knew that I already knew the answer. No, life will not get easier, but my perceptions of the difficulties can be very different if I’m willing to alter them. I got a taste of this on Wednesday night when I came home from a support group meeting and everything looked different. I got a taste of it today when I spent the day making things and discovered that the house things which bothered me in the morning did not bother me so much this evening. In both cases, the thing I chose to do was pointed out to me by inspiration. This is really the answer my friend waited for me to remember. When I am following the instructions I am given by inspiration from my Father in Heaven, then life will be good even if it is also difficult.

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